The Black Ruby by K.C. Hawke is her second novel and is quite a contrast to her first, The Light of the Blue Pearl. While they each share the quality of romance within the pages, I would say the first was a light read (no pun intended), whereas her second could only be described as epic. Falling into the Fantasy/Adventure category this time, Hawke has shown her talent of diversity.
One thing I love about this author is her ability to get right into the story. Beginning with an exciting scene we find the protagonist, Drea, a target of the masses. With one swift motion, an unconventional power to make others disappear with a quick stab of her knife is revealed-and the story begins.
I won’t reveal much, because I have found that with Hawke’s writing the constant surprises are part of the charm. If you love mysteries, adventure and intriguing stories then you’ll definitely like this one.
In a quick, non-revealing, nutshell…Drea is the princess. Or rather, was the princess. Now on the run and trying to save the kingdom from Aryka, a wicked woman who brainwashed everyone, including the King. While it may appear at first to be nothing more than your average “Princess fights the evil queen stories,” Hawke throws so many twists into the story that it is actually quite unique.
One of the twists, if you look at the cover, is the black ruby amulet itself. As you can see, it is red. I was instantly wondering when I picked up the book why it was red, and not black. You’ll have to read it for yourself to find that one out, I won’t spoil that twist!
As with most stories there is a love being fought for. For Drea it is with a young boy who had saved her on the day she had been forced from the castle. Lianen becomes an integral part of the story and I found the relationship between the two quite enchanting and entertaining.
One of the coolest parts though, for me anyway, was the wolf. Not a “little red riding wolf” mind you. This wolf is one you are going to love and wish you had as an ally in your own life. Or maybe that’s just me. I always see animals in stories and say, “awww, I want one!”
The weaving of the storyline and reveal of the characters in this book was beautifully done. The author seamlessly tells the story and connection of each character from one chapter to the next. Although this is definitely a long book, it is one worth reading. Each chapter an exciting build on the last.
You might think that the princess, queen, kingdom stories have all been told. Almost to a tiring degree-but I personally love this era and much of the story takes place outside of the castle setting. This was definitely a unique twist on a timeless classic. And one I highly recommend to anyone who favors George R.R. Martin, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, J.R. Tolkien and Terry Goodkind (although I would say this is not nearly as dark as those stories).
K.C. Hawke is an author I have greatly enjoyed and I look forward to what comes next.
You can find The Black Ruby on Amazon.com